20 Years of Radio magazine: March 1994

April 1, 2013

The first issue of Radio magazine (originally titled BE Radio) was published in January 1994, but its roots go back much farther. In 1959, Broadcast Engineering magazine was launched to cover the technology of radio and television. By 1994, it was realized that while the two services are related broadcast efforts, the needs of their specific audiences warranted splitting the content into two publications.

March 1994

Radio magazine, now part of the NewBay Media group of publications, continues to cover the technology of radio broadcasting. Now in our 20th year, we'll look back at the first year of publication, which had six issues.

Features of the March 1994 issue:
■ The editorial discussed the more than $1.25 million in FCC fines racked up by Infinity Broadcasting because of the Howard Stern Show. That was before satellite radio.
■ The news highlighted NPR's move to a new satellite delivery system from Comstream. This was the first major radio network to use a system with Layer II encoding. SEDAT was still the primary encoding system of the day.
■ The cover story previewed the radio highlights of the 1994 NAB Convention. Session topics included high-speed subcarriers for wrist-worn pagers; ISDN and T1 transmission; AM and FM improvement, with tips on extending tube life and anti-skywave antennas; and a discussion of the new EBS (EAS rules took effect in 1997). Our March issue is still the convention preview issue today.
■ We profiled the Dallas Cowboys radio broadcasts via the KVIL Cowboys Radio Network.
■ We showed a side-by-side comparison of various forms of audio playback systems, which included carts, 3.5" floppy, Bernoulli disks, 3.5" magneto-optical disks, CD, mini-disc and DAT. And none of those formats is used today.
■ The EIA was set to begin testing various digital radio systems at the NASA Lewis Research Center in Cleveland. The 10 systems to be evaluated (including the variations) were provided by AT&T (in-band adjacent channel), AT&T/Amati (IBOC), Thomson Consumer Electronics (Eureka 147) USA Digital Radio (two forms of FM IBOC and an AM IBOC), and the Voice of America/Jet Propulsion Lab (direct satellite).
■ New product advertisements included the Roland DM-80, ITC DigiCenter Plus, the Orban DSE 7000, the Denon MD Cart, and the Wheatstone A-6000.